Black ginger dimethoxyflavone is a muscle rejuvenation drug
The flavonoid dimethoxyflavone, found in the Asian herb Kaempferia parviflora, makes middle-aged people almost as muscular and fit as they were in their early twenties. A South Korean animal study from Yonsei University suggests this. The amount of dimethoxyflavone required is high - maybe even extreme.
Supplement connoisseurs know Kaempferia parviflora as an anti-aging herb and as a testosterone booster. [J Reprod Dev. 2007 Apr;53(2):351-6.] The roots of the plant, which contain remarkable concentrations of bioactive substances, are also called 'black ginger'.
According to in vitro studies from the last century, dimethoxyflavone - more precisely: 5,7-dimethoxyflavone - inhibits the enzyme aromatase , thus preventing testosterone from turning into estradiol. Therefore, you may come across 5,7-dimethoxyflavone in supplements that are supposed to lower men's estrogen levels, and should raise testosterone levels as well.
(There are more methoxyflavonoids with aromatase inhibiting properties, such as 7,4'-dimethoxyflavone, a substance found in fenugreek. But we are not talking about 7,4-dimethoxyflavone now.)
The researchers experimented with young mice of 10 weeks old and older mice of one and a half years old. Half of the older laboratory animals received a placebo by oral route every day for 8 weeks, the other half dimethoxyflavone. If the mice had been human adults, they would have received about 200 or 400 milligrams of dimethoxyflavone daily.
After the 8-week supplementation period, the researchers studied the test animals.
Dimethoxyflavone supplementation almost completely eliminated the loss of strength from aging, and brought the stamina of the older mice to about the level of the young animals.
Dimethoxyflavone did the same with the mice's muscle mass.
Aging reduced the number of mitochondria in the muscle cells, but dimethoxyflavone reversed this process.
This was partly because the dimethoxyflavone reduced inflammatory processes. Due to aging, the transcription factor NF-kB - in other words: the main button in the DNA for inflammatory processes - went up, but supplementation with dimethoxyflavone subsequently lowered it.
As a result, genes like MuRF1 and atrogin-1, which are involved in the breakdown of muscle proteins, started to work less hard in the older muscle cells.
"Dimethoxyflavone can be used as a natural agent to inhibit sarcopenia", write the Koreans.
Kaempferia parviflora makes the over-sixties fitter 16.12.2012
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